2018 Daytona 500: There will be an Earnhardt in the race after all
There will be an Earnhardt in the Daytona 500 lineup for the 40th consecutive running of "the Great America Race."
Jeffrey Earnhardt, the grandson of Dale Earnhardt and nephew of Dale Earnhardt Jr., will drive this season for the StarCom Racing team in the NASCAR Cup Series, meaning the Earnhardt driving legacy will continue in the Daytona 500.
“There’s been an Earnhardt driving in the 500 for 39 years, so to be able to keep that streak going for a 40th year means a lot to me, and I’m sure a lot of Earnhardt fans are going to be happy to hear this news,” said Jeffrey, the 28-year-old son of Kerry Earnhardt (per USA Today).
The Daytona 500 carries bittersweet memories for the Earnhardt family. Dale Earnhardt died in a crash in the 2001 race.
After Dale Jr.'s retirement following the 2017 Cup Series season, it looked as if the Feb. 18 race would end a streak of 39 consecutive 500s that featured either him or his father.
Instead, Jeffrey Earnhardt's StarCom No. 00 team (by a charter leased from Richard Childress Racing) means, barring unforeseen circumstances, the Daytona 500 streak will continue.
Over the past three seasons, Jeffrey has driven in Cup, Xfinity and Truck series races, including in 58 Cup Series events with no top 10 finishes.